BARSTOW A Barstow woman will face a murder trial for the stabbing death of a Barstow man after a judge found sufficient evidence at a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Sade Merritt, 21, is charged with murder in the slaying of Anthoney Brown, 27. Judge Vic Stull held Merritt to answer at a hearing at the Barstow Courthouse Tuesday afternoon.

On Sept. 12, Officers responded to a 911 call at 12:45 a.m. from a woman who said she stabbed an intruder at her apartment at 755 East Virginia Way. Officers found Brown on the floor of the apartment balcony with a stab wound to his chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Merritt was drinking and socializing with two men she met that night who were accompanied by Brown at her apartment when an argument ensued, according to testimony from Barstow Police Detectives Leo Griego and Keith Libby who were the only witnesses to take the stand.

Libby said that according to an interview with one of the other men, Merritt was swinging two knives and talking about what she would do if someone "messed with her" when she was confronted by Brown and stabbed in the chest.

"(Brown) said 'you're not going to stab anyone' and he was stabbed," said Libby.

Brown and Merritt were arguing about Merritt's relationship with her estranged husband, which prompted the stabbing, according to testimony given by Griego about an interview with Merritt. Griego said Merritt admitted to stabbing Brown because he was "getting in her face."

Merritt's public defender Scott Seely asked detectives about a gin bottle raised in a threatening manner by Brown. Griego said Merritt did not say anything about being assaulted by Brown and stabbed him because he didn't respect her and didn't show respect for her house.

Seely told Judge Stull Merritt should not be held to answer for the charges, saying self-defense was a critical issue in the case. Stull said self-defense would be an issue to present before a jury.

Merritt's next court date is Jan. 19. Merritt is being held at the West Valley Detention Center in lieu of $1 million bail. If convicted, Merritt could face 25 years to life in prison.

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(760) 256-4126 or adome@desertdispatch.com